Milkweed the Movie

MILKWEED opens in darkness. We hear the voice of an old man. “I am running,” he says. “That’s the first thing I remember. Running.”

The year is 1942. The setting, Warsaw, Poland. Our tiny protagonist, clutching a loaf of bread he has skillfully snatched from a baker, runs for his life as the rotund baker angrily screams: “Stop Thief!” The boy, an orphan of 6 or 7, with disheveled hair and torn clothing, has heard the cry so many times he believes it is his name.


Seven year old Stopthief dashes through a crowd with a stolen loaf of bread.

One sunny day on a hunt for tomatoes, Stopthief crosses into the garden of a stately home owned by a Jewish family. He becomes love-struck as he catches the eye of the owner’s beautiful little girl who watches him from a distance, waiting to see if he will discover the wrapped butter cream heart she has buried for him in the dirt. He does. But Stopthief is more fascinated by her black shoes – so shiny that he can see his face – and by the strange bird-shaped pods of a bursting fluffy weed around them.


Stopthief stands alone on train tracks, staring sadly at the white puffs of milkweed seeds that float above him.

Milkweed the Movie, based on Jerry Spinelli’s breathtaking novel of the same name, will be cherished as a story of enduring love across continents and decades, of loss and healing and, ultimately, our universal search for identity.

“The arts are eminently important in teaching succeeding generations the lessons of the past.”

Milkweed Supporter Janet Thompson, Albuquerque, New mexico

Raising Funds for Milkweed

We are excited to announce that, as of January 8th, 2020, we have received $40,663 in funding from our incredibly generous community.

We have just $9,337 left to reach out $50,000 initial funding goal, which will get us through first-stage story-boarding, voice recording and development of a middle school teaching curriculum

This project is funded with the generous support of foundations and individuals, including RIMON: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council, the Minneapolis Jewish Federation, the Tankenoff Family Foundation, the Fiterman Family Foundation, the Lerner Foundation, the Rocking JT Foundation and many others. See our full list of donors.

Consider making a tax-deductible donation to help make this movie a reality.

Education Curriculum

While our team’s goal is to reach a world-wide audience, we are focused on getting the film — and a comprehensive and interactive teaching curriculum – into middle schools nationwide. Our children do not know what the Holocaust is. They don’t understand the urgency of connecting the dots from Charlottesville and Pittsburgh to Nazi Germany, and it’s not their fault. We must teach them.

Our curriculum will be distributed with the film to middle schools, private and public, nationwide.

“As a former middle school teacher of kids with emotional and behavioral disorders, I often read books to them to begin discussions and further social and emotional learning skills. Jerry Spinelli was a go-to author.”

Lynda Lange, Minneapolis, MN

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Thank you for being part of our community!